JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --- A knee injury drastically hampered Maurice McIntyre's once-promising recruitment. North Carolina is among the schools waiting to see how the 6-foot-3, 285-pound offensive lineman from Northside High bounces back.
"He's a student of the game," Northside head coach Kendrick Pollock said. "He's a real smart guy. He's a good kid. He's not a vocal leader -- he'll speak up when he has to -- but he's a leader by actions and he goes hard every play.
"He has a motor. A lot of times, it's hard to find a guy that size with a motor like him. He's not a gentle giant. He's going to give you everything that he has."
Two games into the 2014 season, McIntyre was promoted to varsity. Immediately, he became a starter at right tackle as a freshman.
The following season, McIntyre was moved to guard where he was responsible for making the line calls.
"He's a real smart guy," Pollock said. "We had quite a few different line calls and he was making those calls for us as a sophomore -- we had senior guys that were listening to him."
During a scrimmage the subsequent preseason, McIntyre tore the MPFL (Medial Patellofemoral Ligament) in his knee. The injury ended his junior campaign before it even started.
"When he went down with that injury, it kind of took us back," Pollock said. "We had really nobody who could make those line calls, so we had to dumb down our blocking for everyone else."
Now 100-percent, McIntyre has already been cleared for all football activities.
The absence of junior footage has greatly hindered McIntyre's recruitment. Still though, Duke has offered, while Boston College, Charlotte, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, Virginia, and Wake Forest have expressed interest.
"I think that the knee injury really scared people away," Pollock said.
McIntyre has camped at UNC the past few summers. Up until last June -- when he competed at D-line -- he worked out as an offensive lineman.
"I want to say they're recruiting me at both sides [of the line]," McIntyre said. "Coach [Gene] Chizik told me one time that he'd just take me and figure out where I'd play later."
The following September, McIntyre returned to Chapel Hill for UNC's win over Pittsburgh.
"It was a nice atmosphere," McIntyre said. "There were a bunch of people there. I really they were losing and then came back and the crowd was just going crazy."
McIntyre has also visited Duke, East Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest. He says his trips to ECU and WFU stood out.
"They have education and atmosphere," McIntrye said.
McIntyre plans to return to both very soon.
While sidelined last season, McIntyre met Northside alum/Tar Heel Josh Cabrera, who was also going through an injury of his own. McIntyre says that Cabrera provided moral support the past year... McIntyre was born in Kansas. He moved to NC when he was in the sixth grade.... McIntyre grew up rooting for LSU because his Pop Warner team's mascot was the Tigers... McIntyre plans to pursue an engineering degree -- either bio or agricultural.